Poetry Corner

Yesterday Scotland’s Government has voted to ban Fracking for which I am very grateful. I have therefore chosen a poem by Paul Colvin which in my view illustrates why this has been a great decision.


File:HydroFrac2.svg – Wikimedia Commons Wikimedia Commons2000 × 1170

Fracking Shale.


The shared black roads that we have tarred

Will have no barbed wires, troops or guards

No sentry posts, no stringent lines

No this is yours and this is mine.

We can be great, they say we can’t

As the puppets dance to the Moron’s chant

The simple truths have been outlined

But though they read, fear’s made them blind

They’ll pay us to store nuclear waste

But the deadly toxins, our hills, will baste

Gone, will be forests, dead the trees

What’s left of nature’s on its knees

Now they’ve licenses to drill for shale

Can the earth survive, our Holy Grail,

As toxic spores seep through or hills

And by our hillsides more road-kill

Not killed by cars but dead through greed

For the shale has poisoned all their feed

Contaminants unknown to men

Run down through mountains to our glens

Destroying weeds and flowers, plants

Will wildlife die or just decant?

Can water be defined as clean

Or will its taste be now obscene?

Streams roll to rivers, flow to seas

Will sea life last or die diseased

Seventy thousand fish lie dead

From the graveyard that is our seabed

They’re blaming shale, news today,

Fracking, friends, is on its way

And for what, when all is done,

We’ve ample power in the sun

But the sun can’t make the rich more rich

So they’ll kill the earth, Ain’t life a bitch!

By Paul Colvin


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  1. Friend Wendy wrote this some years ago – there were two things happening – a massive oil spill caused by drilling ‘going wrong’, and those miners who were trapped underground, and who showed such strength and fortitude.
    Both of these events stemmed from the same thing – greed and exploitation. Same applies to fracking.
    I raised a glass when I heard that it has been banned indefinitely in Scotland – let’s hope the rest of Britain follows suit – SOON!

    Deep Down

    The earth is bleeding,
    a deep puncture wound,
    beyond reach of any surgeon’s hand,
    gushing, thick, black viscous gore,
    sickly slick, spreading,
    more and more,
    contaminating, clogging,
    sticking to all
    it touches.

    Small figures and crafts
    scamper round the carnage,
    like frantic ants,
    whose homely mound
    has been kicked,
    burst open and
    spread over the ground,
    desperate to save
    their babies.

    Chemically sprayed ,
    the multiplying masses
    are scattered
    by wind and wave,
    detergents disseminate
    in swirling current,
    no healing coagulates
    can naturally stave
    the process.

    Pathetic attempts
    to stem the flow
    repeatedly fail,
    but, eventually, slow
    then stop
    the breach,
    the cost, we know
    will continue
    to grow.

    Thousands of miles,
    across sea and land,
    high in the mountains,
    deep underground,
    another drama unfolds
    to the world
    a message of hope
    cries out to be heard:
    we 33 are OK in the shelter.

    Forget exploration,
    forget exploitation,
    there’s something more precious
    to find,
    a conduit, a channel,
    a tunnel of light,
    struck down through the earth,
    on the tide
    of human spirit

    A beam, a beacon
    shining so bright,
    it banishes the darkness,
    puts fear to flight;
    with faith
    and patient dignity,
    in the face
    of such plight:
    we, the 33, have returned.

    Two giant conglomerations
    technological stratifications,
    one drilling, through greed and pain,
    one bringing to life, again,
    death and life,
    so closely matched,
    desperate drilling,
    down and down,
    the need is great,
    a powerful draw,
    below the ocean,
    beneath the ground;
    a question
    hangs over us,

    Did we listen
    have we heard
    something shifting
    conscience stirred?

    Remember the dead,
    remember those saved,
    pray that Humanity
    will emerge from the cave,
    and step
    the light.

    Wendy Alford October 2010

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